As the days get colder and there is a greater *flu* risk in the air, now is an ideal time to boost your immune health and fortify your reserves. Fortunately, there is a large selection of well researched vitamins, herbal medicines and lifestyle changes that we all can proactively adopt to boost our body’s innate protection. Simple actions such as moving your body outside and connecting with nature as much as possible, ensuring you are getting optimal sleep and taking time out to rest, meditate and connect with loved ones are key. And then if you feel like you may need extra support reach for the below natural immune fist aid boosters for extra protection:
Vitamin C - well researched for its use in battling the cold and flu virus. It is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and possesses strong immune stimulating properties. Good sources include capsicum, broccoli, strawberries, Kakadu plum and kiwifruit.
Vitamin A- immune boosting and anti-infective, particularly against viruses. It will help strengthen mucous membranes (found in the nose, mouth, ears and respiratory tract) where nasty bugs often lurk. You can get more vitamin A through carrots, sweet potato, dried apricots, mango and kale.
Vitamin D- shown to inhibit respiratory inflammation. Deficiency is common in the winter months so try to get outdoors on the sunny days. Cod Liver oil contains both Vitamin A, D and Omega 3, so is a great supplement to take regularly during Winter.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)- cannot be made by the body and must be obtained in the diet. Your cells are made up of fats and play an important role in immune regulation and inflammation and can keep the mucous membranes well lubricated. You can get some from oily fish, soaked chia seeds, nuts, flaxseed and eggs.
Zinc-functions in the body as a co-factor for many immune dependent responses, involved in over 100 enzymatic reactions in the body. Good sources include pepitas, beef, lamb, fish, sesame seeds, eggs and oats
Herbal Medicine- Echinacea, Elderberry, Andrographis and Schisandra are my favourite immune boosting herbs. Medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake, reishi and cordyceps can also be effective at boosting immunity, though it is important to visit your local herbalist and chose practitioner quality brands to ensure you are taking a therapeutic dosage that is right for you.
Fire Cider Master Tonic- Taken as a daily shot, this centuries old powerhouse mixture made by fermenting garlic, onion, turmeric, ginger and horseradish is a powerful immune boosting mix, due to these anti-microbial, decongestant and circulatory boosting herbs and spices. Check out my Immune Master Tonic recipe on the blog page for you to make at home.